All year 10 students in the ACT will receive a free meningococcal vaccination next year to protect against the W strain of this potentially fatal disease.

All year 10 students in the ACT will receive a free meningococcal vaccination next year to protect against the W strain of this potentially fatal disease.

The school-based vaccination program will provide one dose of the ‘MenACWY’ vaccine to year 10 students. This vaccine provides protection against the meningococcal A, C, W and Y strains.

“The important vaccination will be offered to students next year and is based on the fact that older teenagers and young adults are at increased risk of meningococcal disease and are most likely to spread the disease to others.

“The decision to roll out the MenACWY vaccination program was based on information indicating cases of meningococcal W and Y disease were increasing across Australia, and we want to do everything we can to keep Canberra’s children and young people safe and well.

“Meningococcal W and meningococcal Y disease have been increasing across Australia in recent years, and outbreaks of meningococcal W are currently occurring in WA, NT and SA.

“A MenACWY Vaccination Program will help keep Canberra’s young people and the community protected from the emerging public health risk posed particularly by meningococcal W disease,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“During term one 2018, school immunisation teams will start visiting high schools across the ACT and provide this vaccine to Year 10 students with parental approval,” said Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry.

“This is an important health initiative and I’d like to thank schools for their continued efforts to keep kids healthy and doing all they can to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of our students.

“Families will receive a letter outlining the vaccination program and consent requirements. If your child misses the vaccination at school, you will still be able to get it for free at your GP,” said Minister Berry.

Statement ends